June 7, 2013
All\-American\ Kevin\ McDonnell\ Places\ 10th\ at\ NCAA\ Track\ Championships
EUGENE, Ore. - Saint Joseph's distance standout Kevin McDonnell capped his sensational career as a Hawk with a 10th-place finish in the 10,000m at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday evening. With a time of 29:55.58, McDonnell's top-ten finish earned him All-American Second Team honors. The meet was hosted by the University of Oregon and held at Hayward Field.
McDonnell, who was ranked 21st heading into his final race, edged out Nate Jewkes of Southern Utah and Kevin Williams of Oklahoma to round out the top ten and finished just under four seconds away from an eighth-place finish. The winning time was posted by Arizona's Lawi Lalang at 29:29.65.
McDonnell becomes just the fifth men's track athlete in Saint Joseph's history to earn All-American status and the first 10,000m competitor at the NCAA Championships in SJU history. McDonnell also becomes the first men's track standout in 27 years to place at the NCAA Championships.
The meet concludes Saint Joseph's 2013 outdoor track and field season and McDonnell's prestigious career for the Crimson and Gray. He leaves his mark as the school record-holder in the 10,000m (29:16.01), set this season at Bucknell's Bison Outdoor Classic back on May 13.
"It's been so much fun representing Saint Joseph's," said McDonnell of his career on Hawk Hill. "It's been great to do well and to get St. Joe's out there. The program has grown ever since I got here, and that has to do with everyone around the program. Everyone is improving and it's great for the program."
EUGENE, Ore. – Prior to redshirt junior Jaleesa Williams stepping on campus at VCU, the Rams had never had a thrower advance to the NCAA East Regionals.
Just four years later, Williams became the first-ever VCU thrower to earn All-American accolades with a 12th-place showing in the discus at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Her performance earned her Second-Team All-American honors.
"Jaleesa came out and stood in the face of all the pressure and had another career day, improving her school record when it mattered the most," Throws coach Ethan Tussing said. "There were a lot of great throws today by the entire field and it was incredibly tough to make the final. It is exciting to be so close to the final, but equally tough to be so close. We are thrilled to achieve All-American status and hungry for the future."
Williams' throw of 53.12m (174' 3") broke her own school record that she set last week of 52.23m (171' 4"). To put it in perspective, the Virginia Beach, Va. native entered the 2013 outdoor season with a PR of 49.01m (160' 9").
"I would have loved to make it to the finals, but I'm over the moon that I was able to PR again," Williams said. "Just like after the East Regionals meet, I can't stop smiling."
The 12th-place finish by Williams is the best finish for a Ram since Maria Elena Calle's top-10 finish in 2001.